Saturday, October 16, 2010

The grand kids were over again this weekend...

"Gather round, boys and I’ll tell you about that Sunday afternoon your granddaddy played before an almost sellout crowd in Memorial Stadium….."
“Wait a minute, Grandad. Professional teams play on Sunday afternoons, not high school teams.” remarked grandson #1.

"That’s right, son. It was a professional game.

Jimmy Weller
We had a very impressive team; fleet-footed Jimmy Weller was the left end, 6 foot tall Barry Clark was the right end, our Fullback was the Heisman trophy winner……."(unfortunately, it was at this point in my story when the last grand kid wandered off . Kids these days must have short attention spans.)
Barry Clark
Anyway, I’ll tell you the rest of the story.

Grady Harmon

 Our fullback was the Heisman trophy winner Tom Harmon’s nephew, Grady Harmon.

Wilson Snell

Wilson Snell held down the center of the line.
We were one heck of a tough bunch of 5th graders.

Back in those days there were very few, if any, “organized” teams….at least not organized by adults. We organized ourselves. Our opponents were boys who lived about 6 blocks away and had their own team.
Bobby Burris

Pete Burris was quarterback, Bobby Burris was center, John Kilgo was tailback…..we went head to head just about every day in Independence Park on those cool autumn days in 1947.

It occurred to me that the people of Charlotte would enjoy seeing our brand of exciting football, so I took it upon myself to call the man listed in the Charlotte Clipper programs as the “owner” or director or something like that and let him know about the 5th street team and the Caswell Ave team. (This was an early manifestation of the fact that I’ve always had more nerve than sense.)

But Lo and behold, he said he thought it would be a good idea!

So two weeks later we were seated on a small bench next to the Charlotte Clippers waiting for halftime to show Charlotte what exciting football was really all about.

Once we began playing there was a little bit of a letdown…because it was obvious that the crowd was more interested in heading for the snack bars and restrooms than watching us play.

Nevertheless, our 10 minutes of fame that afternoon and sitting on the bench next to real professional (semi pro) football players was an unforgettable experience.

Plus, we learned several new words.